Pinelands Science-Policy Forum on the Kirkwood Cohansey Aquifer was held in March 2012 to focus on the sustainable planning for future water use in the Pinelands.
[+ ZOOM] Oswego River © PPA
The Kirkwood Cohansey Aquifer is a treasured resource in the Pinelands. The 17 trillion gallon surficial aquifer is the life-blood of the region. An important study was conducted by the Pinelands Commission and the US Geological Survey to essentially answer two questions: first, what are the probable hydrologic effects of groundwater diversions from the Kirkwood-Cohansey aquifer on stream flows and wetland water levels and second, what are the probable ecological effects of induced streamflow and groundwater-level changes on aquatic and wetland communities.
Pinelands Preservation Alliance in coordination with a number of partners organized a two-day Pinelands Science-Policy forum focusing on the Kirkwood-Cohansey study. This two-day forum provided an overview of the current scientific research and its land use implications to develop consensus policy measures on planning for the sustainable use of the aquifer.
Day one of the forum provided presentations on the Kirkwood-Cohansey Aquifer Study by US Geological Survey and Pinelands Commission scientists and alternative water supply options and efficiencies by Robert Kecskes – retired DEP employee.
Day two consisted of a presentation on build-out analysis by Pinelands Commission staff and facilitated discussion and polling on policy options for ensuring sustainable use of the aquifer.
The forum’s facilitated group discussion aimed at reaching real consensus on tangible policy steps. The forum report provides a robust summary of the applicable regulations, scientific research, and potential alternatives for water supply and conservation and the polling results from the policy discussion at the forum.
PPA encourages individuals to share this document widely and welcomes opportunities to provide presentations to elected and appointed officials and the general public. To suggest venues or provide feedback on the report, contact Jaclyn Rhoads at 609-859-8860 ext. 18 or Jaclyn@pinelandsalliance.org